About a week and a half ago my dd8 got a splinter in her finger, and she didn’t want me to pry around with a needle because it was too sore. I’ve heard that putting a banana peel on it is a great way to draw out the splinter, but naturally, though I usually have bananas around, right then I didn’t have any.
I considered if I had any other options, and this is what I did. I told her to soak her finger in warm water, and then to go outside and pick some plantain. Do you know what plantain looks like? It’s a common weed that grows all over the place here, maybe all over the US, I don’t know. The Native Americans used to call it white man’s foot, or broad foot, because wherever the white man travelled, plantain would grow.
I don’t know much about identifying weeds or wild plants, but a few years ago I was on a nature hike with the kids and the guide pointed it out. He pointed out other things, too, that I didn’t remember. But this one was memorable because he had said it was good for a number of things, including bee stings. A little later on that hike, a little girl got a bee sting and he immediately picked some, smashed it to a pulp with a rock, and applied it to her sting. She calmed down very quickly.
Not long after that, I was attending my then sixth grade son’s baseball game. At that age, most of the parents don’t attend the game, but I went to every game. One of his fifth grade teamates was stung by a wasp on his hand, and it was so painful that he couldn’t hold a ball or bat. There was no other adult to help him and even though he was trying to act like it wasn’t a big deal, I could tell it really was hurting. So I picked some plantain, told him it needed to be chewed or smashed with a rock before applying it, and he willingly chewed it and put it on his sting. I thought I must have seemed like a weirdo to him and wondered if it would really help, but I needn’t have worried. He told me after a minute that his hand felt normal and was very appreciative – and he thought it was cool, not weird.
Plantain is good for lots of things, and I thought it might draw out the splinter, too. So I told dd to wrap it around her finger and put a bandaid on top to hold it on. We couldn’t find the splinter the next day when we took it off, so I guess it worked.
Today I asked ds10 to pick some to make a salve with (I’ll share details of that with you tomorrow when it’s finished and I see how it works), and asked dd8to pick a bunch of it to dehydrate it for future use – it’s good for a lot of things, it’s free and easily available, so I figure, why not take advantage of it and stock my home grown medicine cabinet supplies?